Support this writer and shop Amazon

1st 2nd 3rd 4th Tot
SF 7 0 3 3 13
HOU 7 0 3 6 16

The San Francisco 49ers couldn't quite stave off late-game heroics from Houston Texans quarterback Joe Webb, falling 16-13 in Week 2 of the preseason.


Forget quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. The San Francisco 49ers now belong to third-string quarterback Nick Mullens, who nearly ensured the Niners would have their second of two preseason victories to kick off 2018.

Mullens' fourth-quarter efforts were negated, however, by a 41-yard touchdown pass by Texans backup quarterback Joe Webb to wide receiver Vyncint Smith in the waning seconds of the game, which gave Houston the 16-13 victory. Still, Mullens vastly outplayed the other San Francisco backup, C.J. Beathard, who for the second time in two weeks, was set back by deflected passes and late releases.

The 49ers, of course, hope neither Beathard nor Mullens (if he even makes the 53-man roster) see meaningful snaps this season. Those will go to Garoppolo, who looked far better than the 3-of-6 mark he showed during the Niners' exhibition opener against the Dallas Cowboys a little over a week ago.



Garoppolo went 10-of-12 for 136 yards and a touchdown to wide receiver Trent Taylor, which opened up scoring in the first quarter. The Niners were in position to score again on their next offensive possession. But an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty on center Weston Richburg backed the 49ers out of the red zone and led to an interception from Garoppolo on a pass intended for wide receiver Dante Pettis.

That was, perhaps, the lone blemish on Garoppolo's line, however. He still managed to finish with a 107.0 passer rating on the night before giving way to Beathard, who was 10-of-17 for 82 yards.

San Francisco's first-string defense did give up an opening touchdown to Houston, however -- a drive capped off by a one-yard touchdown pass from Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson to wide receiver Bruce Ellington.

Despite that drive, the Niners defense still managed to hold the Texans to a mere 250 passing yards on the game, including that 41-yard pass by Webb to win the game. And with veteran cornerbacks Richard Sherman (hamstring) and K'Waun Williams (ankle) both out, it was good to see some of the 49ers' younger defensive backs make some plays.

Especially undrafted rookie cornerback Emmanuel Moseley, who recorded an interception in the second half -- one of two forced turnovers by San Francisco.

The other came on a play by defensive tackle D.J. Jones, who punched the ball out from Texans running back Lavon Coleman despite being engaged in a block. Jones was one of a number of 49ers defensive standouts during the game.

On the offensive side of the ball, third-year guard Joshua Garnett also stood out in a good way. He saw a sizable amount of time at right guard, playing all the way into the third quarter. Garnett, who missed the majority of training camp so far with a knee injury, is still battling with Jonathan Cooper and Mike Person for a starting job this preseason. Any solid efforts from Garnett only serve to increase his roster chances.

Another player on the roster bubble, running back Joe Williams, didn't have the best of efforts, however.

While San Francisco's ground game was largely bottled up Saturday night, Williams didn't increase his own roster chances after netting a mere 2.3 yards per attempt on eight carries. And his bobbled pass from Mullens, which led to a Houston interception, won't help either:


It was also interesting to see Jeremy McNichols, not Williams, get the start Saturday with top runners Jerick McKinnon (calf) and Matt Breida (shoulder) out. All in all, it's not a good indication for Williams' future in San Francisco.

Like many preseason games, Saturday's contest was an ugly bout in many different facets. One of those was in the penalty department, where the Niners were hit with a whopping 15 flags for 140 yards. Sure, two of them were the result of the league's questionable helmet/shoulder-leading penalties -- one against running back Raheem Mostert on a punt-return play, and the other against EDGE Jeremiah Attaochu.


You be the judge:



Either way, discipline was a problem for San Francisco throughout most of the game. It's something the coaching staff will look to address between now and the team's third preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday, Aug. 25 at 4:30 p.m. ET.

Peter Panacy has been writing about the 49ers since 2011 for outlets like Bleacher Report, Niner Noise, 49ers Webzone, and is occasionally heard as a guest on San Francisco's 95.7 FM The Game. Feel free to follow him, or direct any inquiries to @PeterPanacy on Twitter.


SF Team Stats HOU
17 First Downs 19
389 Total Yards 323
305 Pass Yards 250
84 Rush Yards 73
15 (140) Penalties (Yds) 8 (68)
2 Turnovers 2
6 (40) Punts (Avg) 6 (43)
32:06 Time of Pos. 27:54

49ers Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
C. Beathard 10/17 82 0 0
J. Garoppolo 10/12 136 1 1
N. Mullens 6/7 87 0 1
Rushing Att Yds TDs Lg
J. McNichols 10 28 0 6
C. Beathard 3 23 0 17
J. Wilson 5 20 0 6
J. Williams 8 18 0 6
D. Pettis 1 -5 0 -5
Receiving Rec Yds TDs Lg
M. Goodwin 3 61 0 40
J. McNichols 3 19 0 7
D. Pettis 2 32 0 20
K. Juszczyk 2 29 0 24
J. Wilson 2 17 0 11
J. Williams 2 14 0 10
T. Taylor 2 7 1 5
V. Bolden 1 32 0 32
P. Garçon 1 17 0 17
A. Burbridge 1 16 0 16
C. Hikutini 1 14 0 14
W. Saxton 1 14 0 14
C. Wick 1 10 0 10
G. Celek 1 8 0 8
R. Dwelley 1 8 0 8
K. Bourne 1 6 0 6
R. James 1 1 0 1
Fumbles Fum Lost Rec Yds
F. Warner 0 0 0 0
Kicking FG Lg XP Pts
R. Gould 2/2 41 1/1 7
Punting No Avg I20 Lg
B. Pinion 3 40.7 3 45
J. Locke 3 38.7 3 45
Kickoff Returns No Avg TDs Lg
D. Reed 2 33 0 45
V. Bolden 1 32 0 32
R. James 1 22 0 22
Punt Returns No Avg TDs Lg
R. James 2 11 0 18
D. Pettis 2 10 0 11
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
S. Day 3-2 0 0 1
F. Warner 3-2 0 0 0
R. Foster 4-0 0 0 0
D. Jones 2-1 0 0 1
A. Exum 2-1 0 0 0
J. Ward 2-1 0 0 0
C. James 2-1 0 0 0
G. Mabin 2-0 0 0 0
T. Moore 1-1 0 0 0
J. Tartt 1-1 0 0 0
E. Harold 1-1 0 0 0
D. Reed 1-1 0 0 0
R. Blair 1-1 0 0 0
K. Toomer 1-1 0 0 0
D. McCoil 1-1 0 0 0
E. Lee 0-2 0 0 0
E. Mitchell 0-2 0 0 0
A. Witherspoon 1-0 0 0 0
E. Moseley 1-0 0 1 0
T. McFadden 1-0 0 0 0
D. Buckner 1-0 0 0 0
C. Marsh 1-0 0 0 0
W. Sutton 1-0 0 0 0
T. Powell 0-1 0 0 0
B. Coyle 0-1 0 0 0

Texans Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
J. Webb 10/19 127 1 1
B. Weeden 7/15 50 0 0
D. Watson 5/8 73 1 0
Rushing Att Yds TDs Lg
J. Webb 4 22 0 6
A. Blue 7 17 0 9
L. Coleman 3 15 0 13
L. Miller 4 6 0 5
T. Ervin 2 5 0 4
T. Swanson 2 4 0 3
B. Weeden 1 2 0 2
T. Pope 1 2 0 2
Receiving Rec Yds TDs Lg
B. Ellington 4 50 1 37
B. Miller 3 40 0 15
S. Coates 3 32 0 15
V. Smith 2 43 1 41
R. Griffin 2 29 0 22
T. Pope 2 10 0 5
M. Pruitt 1 17 0 17
S. Anderson 1 8 0 8
Q. Bray 1 6 0 6
A. Blue 1 5 0 5
M. Lengel 1 5 0 5
T. Swanson 1 5 0 5
Fumbles Fum Lost Rec Yds
A. Blue 1 0 0 0
L. Coleman 1 1 0 0
C. Slade 0 0 1 0
Kicking FG Lg XP Pts
N. Rose 1/1 32 1/2 4
Punting No Avg I20 Lg
T. Daniel 3 55.3 1 63
S. Lechler 3 45.7 1 51
Kickoff Returns No Avg TDs Lg
T. Pope 1 25 0 25
S. Coates 1 24 0 24
T. Ervin 1 20 0 20
Punt Returns No Avg TDs Lg
T. Ervin 1 0 0 0
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
J. Reid 3-3 0 0 0
J. Keyes 4-1 0 0 0
K. Gilchrist 4-1 0 0 0
J. Bademosi 3-2 0 1 0
Z. Cunningham 1-3 0 0 0
B. Peters 1-3 0 0 0
A. Chachere 3-0 0 0 0
J. Heath 2-1 0 0 0
D. Virgin 1-2 0 0 0
L. Lewis 2-0 0 0 0
K. Drummond 2-0 0 0 0
J. Thornton 2-0 0 0 0
M. Hardison 2-0 0 0 0
N. Thurman 2-0 0 0 0
D. Bellamy 1-1 0 1 0
U. Kamalu 1-1 0 0 0
C. Covington 0-2 0 0 0
D. Ejiofor 1-0 0 0 0
C. Moore 1-0 0 0 0
K. Johnson 1-0 0 0 0
K. Jackson 1-0 0 0 0
B. Dunn 1-0 0 0 0
A. Colvin 1-0 0 0 0
I. Campbell 1-0 0 0 0
P. Kalambayi 1-0 0 0 0
B. Scarlett 0-1 0 0 0
D. Cole 0-1 0 0 0